Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by Briteri, Jul 5, 2012.
What does a Dive medical entail? What does a medical diving professional do or check??? Nervous
The dive medicals I have had have been no different than a general work-up. On the attached form, there are a lot of tick-boxes. If you answer YES to anything on the list, the doctor will then examine that in more detail. For example, I say YES to asthma, so I had to do spirometric, salt water inhalation tests etc to make sure I wasn't going to suffer an attack underwater.
Dive medicine knowledge is not common, so make sure that if you answer yes to any question, that you get checked out by a doctor that has specific dive medical knowledge.
That all depends on where you live.
In the USA, a "dive medical" is advisory in nature. In other words, the medical exam is for your information so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to dive.
When I tried to go diving in Australia I discovered that the "dive medical" is mandatory, and the examining physician has final say on whether or not I was "approved" for diving.
@ Doc Harry: In Australia, specific to Queensland (where I'm a working Inst.), a medical is needed to undertake courses, or act as a professional. It would be very peculiar if you were required to have a medical to go diving for pleasure.
In regards to the OP, the dive medical is a formal examination for any contraindications to breathing compressed gases underwater, things like hernias, how well your hearing and sight is, whether you have any mental illnesses or medical conditions that could perhaps be exacerbated whilst under water. Stuff like having a seizure or epileptic fit, pretty much stuff that could potentially seriously hurt or kill you. Just remember, if a condition is harmless on land, it could potentially kill you underwater.
My girlfriend and I booked a trip on a week-long liveaboard out of Cairns, the Spirit of Freedom. This dive charter is very well known and has an excellent reputation here on Scubaboard. My girlfriend and I were advanced OW divers, and we had over 500 dives between us at the time of our booking. We had been diving for about 5 years in Cozumel, the Florida Keys and the Bahamas. I had my cave diving certification at that time as well. We were in our 40s at the time.
The Cairns dive charter required that we get medical exams before the trip, which we did. But the dive charter refused to accept our dive medicals because the certifying physician was not an approved dive medicine physician. Once we got the problem fixed, the Cairns dive charter denied my girlfriend's application for the trip because she has asthma.
The Cairns dive charter required my GF to get a pulmonary function test, which she did, and it was normal.
But then the Cairns dive charter required an audogram (hearing test). Neither of us had indicated any hearing problems on our dive medicals.
This went on and on. They kept requiring more and more tests before we were "approved" for the trip. Were told that there requirements were required by Queensland law.
We were very close to cancelling the trip numerous times because of the onerous requirements of Queensland law. We have not been back to Australia for diving and have no plans to return.
The trip was great, glad we did it once, but frankly Cozumel is better.
Full trip report here:
i find it amazing that hypotension is not listed, unless i missed it
@ Doc Harry: Super wierd, cause I have asthma myself, I did a methocoline challenge, to get cleared for my OW. My brother doesn't have asthma, so he doesn't need to do anything extra. Most dive charters accept dive medicals to AS4005.1 (which is the recreational medical) which doesn't have to be completed by a dive doc, any GP who is compliant with the standard can issue it - albeit a SPUMS doc is highly preferred.
The fact that they refused to acknowledge your previous medical is highly unusual, if someone says 'oh and here's my dive medical', I'd check the date that it's within a year, and say good on you!! It normally shows that they're thinking properly. I can understand the asthma issue, and requiring a spirometry test (but still not really needed), but to need an audiogram??? I took one for my commercial medical, but that's required by the AS2299, I personally think that a hearing test for fun divers is absurd, for pros, it's a given but not for rec divers.
I truly am sorry that this has happened to you, just know that in my experience in QLD I've never encountered or required anything to that extent for pleasure divers.
I guess I should explain more. I have scoliosis and have had a surgery but that was over 20 years ago. I live in Ontario, Canada and I have an appt in two weeks with a doctor in Tobermory to meet with the doctor. I just hope I am cleared.
High Blood Pressure is listed halfway down right column. That is why I had to get a check out exam, run 120/80 on meds, run 140/90 off meds.
Greetings Briteri the medical is to ensure you are fit and able to dive.
Not really to tough but to protect YOU and the Instructor it is a must.
If you answered yes to the HBP that is not a big deal as long as it is under control and your meds do not have bad reaction with diving.
If you are not a member of D.A.N. Divers Alert Network it is a good idea for divers to at least check them out.
They are the worlds diving medicine professionals and many medical professionals rely on their help with medical questions.
The two times I have contacted them they were very concise and helped sort out the best coarse of action for treatment.
Good luck and do not let this stress you out but instead get it over with and go from there.
CamG Keep Diving....Keep Training....Keep Learning!
Hypotension = low blood pressure, not high, it's really only an issue if you don't control the low blood pressure, just like hypertension, it's very conditional upon the diver.
RE: Scoliosis would only be a problem if you were required to carry the tanks/weights to and from the dive site that is really far away from the parking/gearing up area, I'm sure the instructor/DM will assist you in carrying the majority of the weight ie. the tank, but sidemount might be something to look into for future dives!
My mistake, thought it was a typo.
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